Coming off the success of his acclaimed debut One by One, LA songwriter Robert Francis prepares for an upcoming February residency at LA’s own Silverlake Lounge [2906 W Sunset Blvd, (323) 663-9636]. Robert was recently nominated for The Shortlist Music Prize in 2007. The Shortlist Music Prize is a music award given annually to an album released in the United States within the last year, as chosen by a panel of musicians, producers and journalists, known as the “Listmakers.”
Growing up in Los Angeles as the youngest in a family of musicians, Robert used to sneak into clubs to watch his sisters perform, not to mention sneak in a drink here and there. On one occasion, at Harry Dean Stanton‘s birthday at The Mint, the eight year old Robert was caught outside noodling on one of Harry Dean’s guitars by Harry Dean himself. Rather than getting upset, Harry instead invited Robert on stage to play with him on a duet with Chaka Kahn. One could say that Robert started living the life of a rock star when he was only 8 years old.
At this early age Robert displayed a tremendous musical gift. He could play any instrument he picked up, and did so on his record, One by One, playing everything from drums, banjo, bass, piano and mandolin to his most natural instrument, the guitar. Ry Cooder gave him a vintage National when he was only nine, and John Frusciante took him on as his only student when he was sixteen.
Robert talks a bit more about his creative process and upbringing in a recent NPR Day to Day feature. He was also dubbed “the perfect example of the new indie folk” on Entertainment Weekly‘s Popwatch blog.
Robert Francis‘ band is composed of Graham Lathrop (pedal steel), Kati O’Toole (keyboard), Wylie Gelber of Simon Dawes (bass), Kevin Crooks (guitar), and Paul Hurd (drums). Guest apperances on One By One include Joachim Cooder (Buena Vista, Johnny Cash, Dr. John, Hello Stranger) on drums, accompanied by a solo from Ry Cooder on “Good Hearted Man, Mike Bolger (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jewel) on trumpet and mellophone and Amir Yaghmai (Michael Andrews, Berko) on violin.
“Robert Francis’ winsome indie-pop offers a dreamy look into the inner workings of the heart” – Kevin Bronson, Los Angeles Times
“[Francis’] impressive debut, “One By One”, is a shining example of modern Americana-tinged indie rock. Forget all of the “next Dylans” out there…he might be the next Townes.” – Performing Songwriter
“Robert Francis makes use of banjo, lap steel, and parlor piano, recalling great American songwriters like Dylan or Van Zandt without resorting to lyrical clichÃ©s or constructed Americana. One album down, and he’s already proving wise beyond his years.” – The Tripwire
Robert Francis Tour Dates:
Feb 9 San Clemente, CA – OC Tavern w/The Shys 9pm
Feb 11 Los Angeles, CA – Silverlake Lounge (FREE) 10pm
Feb 18 Los Angeles, CA – Silverlake Lounge (FREE) 10pm
Feb 29 Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst w/The Shys 8pm